Revelation 13:6
And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(6) And he opened his mouth . . .—Translate, And he opened his mouth unto blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that tabernacle in the heaven. Much of the beauty of the thought is lost by the translation “them that dwell;” the word is tabernacle. The saints, to whom the name of the Lord is a strong tower, and who have a tabernacle of witness in this wilderness world, can yet tabernacle their spirits where their treasure is, in the heaven, according to that word:” our citizenship is even now in heaven” (Philippians 3:20). Against these the world-power blasphemes: who has not taken the Lord for his strength, God is not his might; his might is his god. (Comp. Habakkuk 1:11 : “He passes over and is guilty, he whose might is his god.”)

13:1-10 The apostle, standing on the shore, saw a savage beast rise out of the sea; a tyrannical, idolatrous, persecuting power, springing up out of the troubles which took place. It was a frightful monster! It appears to mean that worldly, oppressing dominion, which for many ages, even from the times of the Babylonish captivity, had been hostile to the church. The first beast then began to oppress and persecute the righteous for righteousness' sake, but they suffered most under the fourth beast of Daniel, (the Roman empire,) which has afflicted the saints with many cruel persecutions. The source of its power was the dragon. It was set up by the devil, and supported by him. The wounding the head may be the abolishing pagan idolatry; and the healing of the wound, introducing popish idolatry, the same in substance, only in a new dress, but which as effectually answers the devil's design. The world admired its power, policy and success. They paid honour and subjection to the devil and his instruments. It exercised infernal power and policy, requiring men to render that honour to creatures which belongs to God alone. Yet the devil's power and success are limited. Christ has a chosen remnant, redeemed by his blood, recorded in his book, sealed by his Spirit; and though the devil and antichrist may overcome the body, and take away the natural life, they cannot conquer the soul, nor prevail with true believers to forsake their Saviour, and join his enemies. Perseverance in the faith of the gospel and true worship of God, in this great hour of trial and temptation, which would deceive all but the elect, is the character of those registered in the book of life. This powerful motive and encouragement to constancy, is the great design of the whole Revelation.And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name - By his own arrogant claims; by his assumed authority in matters of conscience; by setting aside the divine authority; and by impious declarations in derogation of the divine claims. See the notes on Revelation 13:1.

And his tabernacle - Literally, his "tent" - σκηνὴν skēnēn. This is the word which is commonly applied to the sacred tent or tabernacle among the Hebrews, in which the ark was kept, and which was the seat of the Jewish worship before the building of the temple. It is thus used to denote a place of worship, considered as the dwelling-place of God, and is in this sense applied to heaven, Hebrews 8:2; Hebrews 9:11; Revelation 15:5. It seems to be used here in a general sense to denote the place where God was worshipped; and the meaning is, that there would be a course of conduct in regard to the true church - the dwelling-place of God on the earth - which could properly be regarded as blasphemy. Let anyone remember the anathemas and excommunications uttered against the Waldenses and Albigenses, and those of kindred spirit that appeared in the long period of the papal rule, and he will find no difficulty in perceiving a complete fulfillment of all that is here said.

And them that dwell in heaven - The true worshippers; the members of the true church, represented as dwelling in this holy tabernacle. No one acquainted with the reproaches cast on the devoted and sincere followers of the Saviour during the dark periods of the papal rule can fail to see that there was in that a complete fulfillment of all that is here predicted.

6. opened … mouth—The usual formula in the case of a set speech, or series of speeches. Re 13:6, 7 expand Re 13:5.

blasphemy—So B and Andreas. A and C read "blasphemies."

and them—So Vulgate, Coptic, Andreas, and Primasius read. A and C omit "and": "them that dwell (literally, 'tabernacle') in heaven," mean not only angels and the departed souls of the righteous, but believers on earth who have their citizenship in heaven, and whose true life is hidden from the Antichristian persecutor in the secret of God's tabernacle. See on [2723]Re 12:12; [2724]Joh 3:7.

That is, antichrist opened his mouth to blaspheme God. Mr. Mede noteth well, that antichrist’s time must not be counted from his beginning to persecute, but from his beginning to blaspheme, either by maintaining pernicious doctrine, or setting up idolatrous worship; for till the year 1206, when the Inquisition was set up, (the doctrine of transubstantiation having been about that time decreed by Innocent the Third, and confirmed by the council of Lateran), the persecution was not great. It is also the observation of the same learned author, that the threefold idolatry of the Church of Rome is here described to us; their blaspheming the Lord’s name, by giving Divine adoration to images; their blaspheming the human nature of Christ, (which he thinks is here to be understood by the Lord’s tabernacle, ) by their doctrine of transubstantiation, giving every mass-priest power to make it of a piece of bread; and their putting the glorified saints in the place of the pagan demons, by their invocation of saints. The observation is very ingenious, but whether the sense of this text I doubt; for we are now about the period when antichrist began to reign, which we suppose to be soon after the year 600. The blasphemies here mentioned, were his first-fruits: but the doctrine of transubstantiation, though it might be broached one hundred years before, yet was made no doctrine of their church of six hundred years after the first beginning of the papacy; and therefore cannot well be reckoned amongst antichrist’s first blasphemies. But whoso is acquainted with the history of the church after the year 606, will find enough to justify this text, though we do not restrain their blasphemy to these three things. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God,.... By sitting as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God; by suffering himself to be called by the name of God, God on earth, Lord God the pope, and to be worshipped as God; and by assuming infallibility, giving out that he cannot err, which only belongs to the God of truth; and by his idolatrous practices commanded by him, as the worshipping of idols of gold, silver, wood, and stone, which is in Scripture called blaspheming God, Isaiah 65:7; see Daniel 11:36.

To blaspheme his name; his authority, by arrogating to himself all power in heaven, earth, and hell; by taking upon him to bind and loose the consciences of men, and to dispense with the laws of God, and make them void by his own traditions; and to dispose of the kingdoms of this world, by removing kings, and setting up kings at pleasure, which is the prerogative of the King of kings; and by pretending; to forgive sin, which none but God can do; and by granting indulgences, pardons, &c. Moreover, by the name of God may be meant the Scriptures, which are the means by which God reveals and makes known himself; and these the man of sin blasphemes, by making them a nose of wax, by imposing on them what senses he pleases; by assuming a right of being the sole interpreter of them, and the judge of all controversies; and by setting up his own unwritten traditions upon an equal foot with them, and above them, and by denying the common people the use of them, in their own language; and particularly the Gospel, which is sometimes called the name of the Lord, Acts 9:15, may be intended, which is sadly blasphemed, and evil spoken of by antichrist; as the doctrines of justification by Christ's righteousness, of peace and pardon by his blood, and atonement by his sacrifice, through the antichristian notions of merit, works of supererogation, pardons, penance, purgatory, and the like:

and his tabernacle; meaning either the human nature of Christ, which God pitched, and not man, the temple of his body, in which the Godhead dwells bodily, and where the eternal Word dwelt, or tabernacled among men; this is blasphemed by pretending to transubstantiate, the bread and wine in the supper of the Lord into the very body and blood of Christ, and to offer him up again in the sacrifice of the Mass, every time that blasphemous piece of service is performed: or else the church of God, which is the temple of the living God, where he chooses, desires, and delights to dwell; this is blasphemed by antichrist, by sitting in it as if he was God; asserting himself to be the head of the church which solely belongs to Christ; taking upon him to coin new doctrines, and make new laws and orders, and impose them on it, and to change and alter the ordinances and discipline of it as he pleases; and by persecuting and destroying all such who will not submit to his decrees and prescripts: or else heaven itself, the habitation of God, and where his throne is, may be designed, which the pope blasphemously affirms to have the keys of; and that he can open and shut it, let persons into it, or exclude front it, at pleasure; and that he can dispose of it, and sell it for money, and make and canonize new saints in it, as often as he thinks fit.

And them that dwell in heaven; either saints below, members of a Gospel church, who are born from above, are partakers of the heavenly calling, and whose conversation is in heaven, who are by antichrist stigmatized and persecuted as schismatics and heretics; or rather angels and saints departed, who are in heaven, and dwell there, and who are worshipped and prayed to as Mediators and intercessors, whose names are used in a very ridiculous and blasphemous manner, to their great dishonour and reproach, as well as to the injury of Christ, the only Mediator between God and men.

And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, {11} and his tabernacle, {12} and them that dwell in heaven.

(11) That is, the holy Church, the true house of the living God.

(12) That is, the godly who as a group hid themselves from his cruelty. For this bloody beast charged those holy souls falsely with innumerable accusations for the name of Christ as we read in Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Arnobius, Minutius, Eusebius, Augustine and others: whose example the latter times followed most diligently, in destroying the flock of Christ: and we in our own memory have found by experience, to our incredible grief. Concerning heaven, see in Re 11:12

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Revelation 13:6. The days of Antiochus (Daniel 8:10-12) have returned. On the claims of the emperor, see Introd. § 6, and Sib. Or. ver 33, 34 (Nero ἰσάζων θεῷ αὐτόν), Asc. Isa. iv. 6–8, x. 13, etc.—τοὺςσκηνοῦντας, an exegetic gloss defining σκήνη (cf. Revelation 12:7; Revelation 12:12). The temple in Jerusalem is no longer the scene and object of the beast’s blasphemy.6. and them that dwell] “And” should apparently be omitted, so that “them that tabernacle in Heaven” is in apposition with the “tabernacle” of God itself.Revelation 13:6. Τοὺς) Without a connecting particle, as Job 42:9.Verse 6. - And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his Name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven; for blasphemies against God. The balance of authority is in favour of omitting "and" (before "them"), thus making (as in the Revised Version) the last clause in apposition with the preceding: his Name and his tabernacle, those tabernacled in heaven. The punishment for this sin among the Jews was death by stoning (see Leviticus 24:16). God's servants fear his Name (Revelation 11:18). God's tabernacle, or temple, is the Church, in the midst of which he dwells (cf. Revelation 11:2), and which exists in the wilderness of the world for the forty and two months, and which yet exists also in heaven, honored of God (cf. Philippians 3:20, "For our citizenship is in heaven," Revised Version). In blasphemy (εἰς βλασφημίαν)

Read βλασφημίας blasphemies. Rev., giving the force of εἰς more correctly, "for blasphemies."

And them that dwell in heaven (καὶ τοὺς ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ σκηνοῦντας)

The best texts omit καὶ and, making the following words in apposition with ὄνομα and σκηνὴν name and tabernacle. Thus the literal sense would be to blaspheme the name and tabernacle which dwell in heaven. "The meaning is to enhance the enormity of the blasphemy by bringing out the lofty nature of God's holy name and dwelling-place" (Alford). The word dwell is, literally, tabernacle. See on Revelation 12:12.

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